HOUSTON and WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sisters Network, the only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization, announced today the launch of Teens 4 Pink, a new program that aims to educate and empower African American teens to change the way their family members think and act about breast health. The program, sponsored by Eisai Inc., is being piloted in Houston, TX and Memphis, TN, two cities where African American women with breast cancer face some of the highest mortality rates in the country.1 Through participation in the program, teens are provided with the knowledge and tools they need to start a dialogue with their loved ones about breast cancer, driving the importance of early detection and urging annual check-ups and mammograms.
While African American women have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than Caucasian women, they are more likely to die from the disease.2,3 Studies have suggested a variety of reasons for these long-standing disparities, including more advanced disease at the time of diagnosis and a longer time between diagnosis and the start of treatment.4 In addition, African American women have far lower rates of screening for breast cancer than their Caucasian counterparts.4 By tapping into the energy and tenacity of teens, this program seeks to create sustainable change across the African American community, one family at a time. Teens that participate in Teens 4 Pink will become 'Pink Ambassadors' and work to educate their family members and loved ones about breast health.
"Throughout my 20-year breast cancer survivorship journey, I would often talk to my own granddaughters about my experience as a breast cancer survivor and, they in turn would discuss the importance of breast health with their peers," said Karen Eubanks Jackson, founder and CEO, Sisters Network. "It was their enthusiasm for the cause at such a young age that inspired me to develop Teens 4 Pink. Our goal is not only to educate and empower teens, but to let them know that they can truly make a difference in their family and their community."
Teens 4 Pink consists of in-person educational sessions where participating teens learn about various topics related to breast health, including how regular screening can detect breast cancer early on and lead to better outcomes. These teens are then asked to interview their female blood relatives and encourage them to take action to address their own breast health.
"Eisai is proud to support Sisters Network in this innovative 'teen-up' approach to help address the serious issues that impact the survival of African American women with breast cancer," said Christine Verini, vice president, Corporate Communications and Advocacy at Eisai, Inc. "The teen years are a perfect time to engage teens and give them a sense of their own power to take a proactive role in their family's breast health."
Teens 4 Pink pilot programs began in Houston and Memphis in January and expect to reach 1,000 teens before the school year ends in May. Teens are recruited through local Girl Scouts troops, schools and churches. Data is collected before and after each session to examine how well information is retained by teens, and to track the results of family conversations. As the number of participants continues to grow, Sisters Network is hopeful this data will show that progress is being made in these two communities.
In addition to the local sessions in Houston and Memphis, Teens 4 Pink is working to build awareness of the role that African American teens nationwide can play in their own families. Teens4Pink.org was recently launched and provides teens with the background and resources they need to start a dialogue about breast health with their family. Learn more at www.Teens4Pink.org.
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, CONTACT:
Important Teens 4 Pink contact information
Sisters Network Inc. National Headquarters
Kelly Hodges, Teens 4 Pink National Program Director
2922 Rosedale St.
Houston, TX 77004
Toll Free: 866-781-1808
Teens 4 Pink Houston Program Coordinator
Toll Free: 866-781-1808
Teens 4 Pink Memphis Program Coordinator
Toll Free: 866-781-1808
About Sisters Network
Sisters Network Inc., founded in 1994 by breast cancer survivor Karen E. Jackson, is a leading voice and only national African American breast cancer survivorship organization in the United States. With Karen E. Jackson serving as Chair and CEO, Sisters Network is governed by an elected Board of Directors and assisted by an appointed medical advisory committee. Membership is 3,000, which includes more than 40 survivor-run affiliate chapters nationwide. The organization's purpose is to save lives and provide a broader scope of knowledge that addresses the breast cancer survivorship crisis affecting African American women around the country.
As a nationally recognized organization among leading medical establishments and breast cancer physicians, Sisters Network is also recognized as a critical information resource for African American women.
About Eisai Inc.
Eisai Inc. is sponsoring the Teens 4 Pink initiative to help address the documented health disparities that exist for people living with breast cancer in the African American community.
At Eisai Inc., human health care is our goal. We give our first thoughts to patients and their families, and helping to increase the benefits health care provides. As the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo-based Eisai Co., Ltd., our passionate commitment to patient care is the driving force behind our efforts to help address unmet medical needs. We are a fully integrated pharmaceutical business with discovery, clinical, manufacturing and marketing capabilities. Our key areas of commercial focus include oncology and specialty care (Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and metabolic disorders). To learn more about Eisai Inc., please visit us at www.eisai.com/US.
Eisai Inc. has affiliates that are part of a global product creation organization that includes R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as a global demand chain organization that includes manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. Eisai's global areas of R&D focus include neuroscience, oncology, metabolic disorders, vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction, and antibody-based programs.
Teens 4 Pink is a trademark of Sisters Network, Inc.
Teens 4 Pink is sponsored by Eisai Inc.
Whitman S, Orsi J, Hurlbert M. The racial disparity in breast cancer mortality in the 25 largest cities in the United States. Cancer Epidemiology. 2012; doi:10.1016/j.canep.2011.10.012
Breast Cancer Statistics for African American Women. Susan G. Komen Circle of Promise Web site. http://www.circleofpromise.org/africanamericanstatistics.html. Updated 2013. Accessed January 21, 2014.
Cancer Health Disparities. National Cancer Institute Web site. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/disparities/cancer-health-disparities#5. Updated March 11, 2008. Accessed January 21, 2014.
Silber JH, Rosenbaum PR, Clark AS, Giantonio BJ, Ross RN, Teng Y, Wang M, Bijan NA, Ludwig JM, Wang W, Even-Shoshan O, Fox KR. Characteristics Associated With Differences in Survival Among Black and White Women With Breast Cancer. JAMA. July 2013; 310(4):389-397. Doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.8272.
SOURCE Eisai Inc.; Sisters Network Inc.
Type Press Release
Date Released March 13, 2014